One of my new favorite things to do is travel.
What I love day to day about blogging is that it gives me an outlet for my creative passions. Cooking. Photography. Writing. It inspires me and gives me a space to express that inspiration. I’m finding that what I love in the big picture of blogging is the places it takes me and the people it introduces me to. In just two and a half years I have gone so many places and met so many interesting and amazing people that I never would have if it weren’t for blogging.
This past weekend I had the privilege of attending Go Blog Social in Kansas City. It’s a blogging conference filled with two days of speakers and social events. I won’t bore you with everything the speakers covered (you can buy your own ticket to hear that wise gold) but I will fill you in on my culinary adventures while there.
On Thursday night a few girls and I went to Spin Pizzeria for dinner. Of course I wanted to try everything, so just picked the items off the menu with the most stuff, the 8 Color Salad and mini Primavera Pizza. On the way back to the car we passed Glace Artisan Ice Cream. I was like a moth to the flame and tried about five different flavors before settling on a scoop of Goat Cheese and Wildflower Honey. Everything there was so good, I kind of wish I had gone back before I left town.
I didn’t really eat dinner on Friday night, but did have a pile of snacks at Tannin Wine Bar (can wine be a snack?). I had the smoked salmon and shared that massive bowl of pommes frites (fancy french fries) with a bunch of people. When we left I forgot my very important notebook full of conference notes and blog ideas on the table (thanks a lot, wine snack). I didn’t remember about it until I was in bed that night and reached out to the restaurant on social media. They instantly got back to me letting me know they had it and I could pick it up any time. You rock Tannin!
I also had my first ever macaron that night (courtesy of Colors Macarons). I know. I’m such a shameful food blogger. I’m definitely going to be wanting more. I couldn’t believe the texture! Slightly sticky and chewy, not the pillowy light cookie I was expecting. So good.
On Saturday one of the local girls suggested we go to Brick for lunch. It was a total hole in the wall but the food was really good. I had the Portobello Mushroom Sandwich and sweet potato fries (crunchiest ever). The girls who ordered breakfast food received the cutest little cinnamon roll on the side of their plate. As usual, I wish I’d had room to try even more.
For dinner that night Ali, Jessica, and Laura were kind enough to introduce me to my very first Pad Thai. It was really good (and spicy!), plus they had a bowl of fried garlic on the table just waiting to be dumped onto your food. How could it not be the best ever?
For breakfast on Sunday I walked from my hotel to Succotash, which had been recommended to me by Dana (she also recommended Spin). This place was so hip you wouldn’t even believe it. I wanted to take more pictures but felt like a fool because I was all by myself. I’m curious if there’s a hipster dress code for working there or if they only hire you if you look like that in the first place. Anyways, of course I wanted to try all the things, but was feeling a little boring and settled on Wild Blueberry Pancakes with scrambled eggs and home fries (delish).
From breakfast I took a little walk around town and saw Union Station, Washington Square Park, and Liberty Memorial. I had no idea these attractions were even there and I’m so glad I stumbled upon them because they were truly remarkable, even just from the outside (they weren’t open that early on a Sunday). After that I was trying to find the girls I was carpooling with and found myself smack dab in front of City Market, hands down the greatest farmer’s market I’ve ever been to. The ethnic diversity was incredible as were the prices ($6 for a giant flat of strawberries!). I was trying to do the math in my head the whole time on whether or not any fresh produce would survive the 7+ hour journey home, or at least serve me as a car snack, and in the end I decided it wasn’t a great idea. I did browse the most authentic Italian deli I’ve ever seen (note the squid salad in a giant barrel, there were six other barrels full of olives and similar goods) and seriously considered trying my first beignet. Unfortunately I was too full from my breakfast feast to have room for ethnic treasures. I really should have bought some of those bulk spices, but was so overwhelmed by it all that it just didn’t happen. Not to mention I had literally stumbled upon this place while pulling over to punch directions into my phone for where I was supposed to meet my carpoolers home and was now half an hour late.
My accommodations in Kansas City were generously provided by the Kansas City Convention & Visitors Association at the Sheraton at Crown Center. It is conveniently located downtown at Crown Center, a center full of awesome shopping, dining, and attractions. Unfortunately I was too busy during my stay to visit (they’re closed on Sunday, my only time to sight see) but would love to the next time I’m there.
The Sheraton itself welcomes you with a tall, beautiful lobby and the friendliest staff you’ve ever met. Seriously, I’m not kidding when I say these people were nice. It didn’t even seem like they were just being nice for their job, which is something I feel like I see (and expect) a lot. Every single employee I came across was genuine, kind, and caring.
The room itself was so-so, but how can you go wrong with a king sized bed? I will say I was a little nervous when I saw about 2,000 teenagers checking in on Friday night, many of which were right next door to me, but never heard a peep from them through the walls.
Overall it was an amazing weekend. I hope to see all my new friends again soon and visit Kansas City again with my family. Thanks again to the organizers of Go Blog Social and the Kansas City Convention and Visitors Association!